Cutting The flesh in various ways was an idolatrous practice - a part of idol worship (Deu 14:1; Kg1 18:28). The Israelites were commanded not to imitate this practice (Lev 19:28; Lev 21:5; Deu 14:1). The tearing of the flesh from grief and anguish of spirit in mourning for the dead was regarded as a mark of affection (Jer 16:6; Jer 41:5; Jer 48:37). Allusions are made in Revelation (Rev 13:16; Rev 17:5; Rev 19:20) to the practice of printing marks on the body, to indicate allegiance to a deity. We find also references to it, through in a different direction, by Paul (Gal. 6; 7) and by Ezekiel (Eze 9:4). (See HAIR.)
Cymbals (Heb. tzeltzelim , from a root meaning to "tinkle"), musical instruments, consisting of two convex pieces of brass one held in each hand, which were clashed together to produce a loud clanging sound; castanets; "loud cymbals." "High-sounding cymbals" consisted of two larger plates, one held also in each hand (Sa2 6:5; Psa 150:5; Ch1 13:8; Ch1 15:16, Ch1 15:19, Ch1 15:28; Co1 13:1).
Cypress (Heb. tirzah , "hardness"), mentioned only in Isa 44:14 (R.V., "holm tree"). The oldest Latin version translates this word by ilex - i.e., the evergreen oak - which may possibly have been the tree intended; but there is great probability that our Authorized Version is correct in rendering it "cypress." This tree grows abundantly on the mountains of Hermon. Its wood is hard and fragrant, and very durable. Its foliage is dark and gloomy. It is an evergreen (Cupressus sempervirens). "Throughout the East it is used as a funereal tree; and its dark, tall, waving plumes render it peculiarly appropriate among the tombs."
Cyprus One of the largest islands of the Mediterranean - about 148 miles long and 40 broad. It is distant about 60 miles from the Syrian coast. It was the "Chittim" of the Old Testament (Num 24:24). The Greek colonists gave it the name of Kypros , from the cyprus - i.e., the henna (see CAMPHIRE) - which grew on this island. It was originally inhabited by Phoenicians. In 477 B.C. it fell under the dominion of the Greeks; and became a Roman province 58 B.C.. In ancient times it was a centre of great commercial activity. Corn and wine and oil were produced here in the greatest perfection. It was rich also in timber and in mineral wealth. It is first mentioned in the New Testament (Act 4:36) as the native place of Barnabas. It was the scene of Paul's first missionary labours (Act 13:4), when he and Barnabas and John Mark were sent forth by the church of Antioch. It was afterwards visited by Barnabas and Mark alone (Act 15:39). Mnason, an "old disciple," probaly one of the converts of the day of Pentecost belonging to this island, is mentioned (Act 21:16). It is also mentioned in connection with the voyages of Paul (Act 21:3; Act 27:4). After being under the Turks for three hundred years, it was given up to the British Government in 1878.
Cyrene A city (now Tripoli) in Upper Libya, North Africa, founded by a colony of Greeks (630 B.C.). It contained latterly a large number of Jews, who were introduced into the city by Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, because he thought they would contribute to the security of the place. They increased in number and influence; and we are thus prepared for the frequent references to them in connection with the early history of Christianity. Simon, who bore our Lord's cross, was a native of this place (Mat 27:32; Mar 15:21). Jews from Cyrene were in Jerusalem at Pentecost (Act 2:10); and Cyrenian Jews had a synagogue at Jerusalem (Act 6:9). Converts belonging to Cyrene contributed to the formation of the first Gentile church at Antioch (Act 11:20). Among "the prophets and teachers" who "ministered to the Lord at Antioch" was Lucius of Cyrene (Act 13:1).
Cyrenius The Grecized form of Quirinus. His full name was Publius Sulpicius Quirinus. Recent historical investigation has proved that Quirinus was governor of Cilicia, which was annexed to Syria at the time of our Lord's birth. Cilicia, which he ruled, being a province of Syria, he is called the governor, which he was dejure, of Syria. Some ten years afterwards he was appointed governor of Syria for the second time. During his tenure of office, at the time of our Lord's birth (Luk 2:2), a "taxing" (R.V., "enrollment;" i.e., a registration) of the people was "first made;" i.e., was made for the first time under his government. (See TAXING.)
Cyrus (Heb. Koresh ), the celebrated "King of Persia" (Elam) who was conqueror of Babylon, and issued the decree of liberation to the Jews (Ezr 1:1, Ezr 1:2). He was the son of Cambyses, the prince of Persia, and was born about 599 B.C.. In the year 559 B.C. he became king of Persia, the kingdom of Media being added to it partly by conquest. Cyrus was a great military leader, bent on universal conquest. Babylon fell before his army (538 B.C.) on the night of Belshazzar's feast (Dan 5:30), and then the ancient dominion of Assyria was also added to his empire (cf., "Go up, O Elam" - Isa 21:2). Hitherto the great kings of the earth had only oppressed the Jews. Cyrus was to them as a "shepherd" (Isa 44:28; Isa 45:1). God employed him in doing service to his ancient people. He may possibly have gained, through contact with the Jews, some knowledge of their religion. The "first year of Cyrus" (Ezr 1:1) is not the year of his elevation to power over the Medes, nor over the Persians, nor the year of the fall of Babylon, but the year succeeding the two years during which "Darius the Mede" was viceroy in Babylon after its fall. At this time only (536 B.C.) Cyrus became actual king over Palestine, which became a part of his Babylonian empire. The edict of Cyrus for the rebuilding of Jerusalem marked a great epoch in the history of the Jewish people (Ch2 36:22, Ch2 36:23; Ezr 1:1; Ezr 4:3; Ezr 5:13; Ezr 6:3). This decree was discovered "at Achmetha [R.V. marg., "Ecbatana"], in the palace that is in the province of the Medes" (Ezr 6:2). A chronicle drawn up just after the conquest of Babylonia by Cyrus, gives the history of the reign of Nabonidus (Nabunahid), the last king of Babylon, and of the fall of the Babylonian empire. In 538 B.C. there was a revolt in Southern Babylonia, while the army of Cyrus entered the country from the north. In June the Babylonian army was completely defeated at Opis, and immediately afterwards Sippara opened its gates to the conqueror. Gobryas (Ugbaru), the governor of Kurdistan, was then sent to Babylon, which surrendered "without fighting," and the daily services in the temples continued without a break. In October, Cyrus himself arrived, and proclaimed a general amnesty, which was communicated by Gobryas to "all the province of Babylon," of which he had been made governor. Meanwhile, Nabonidus, who had concealed himself, was captured, but treated honourably; and when his wife died, Cambyses, the son of Cyrus, conducted the funeral. Cyrus now assumed the title of "king of Babylon," claimed to be the descendant of the ancient kings, and made rich offerings to the temples. At the same time he allowed the foreign populations who had been deported to Babylonia to return to their old homes, carrying with them the images of their gods. Among these populations were the Jews, who, as they had no images, took with them the sacred vessels of the temple.
Daberath Pasture - a Levitical town of Issachar (Jos 19:12; Jos 21:28), near the border of Zebulum. It is the modern small village of Deburich, at the base of Mount Tabor. Tradition has incorrectly made it the scene of the miracle of the cure of the lunatic child (Mat 17:14).
Daemon The Greek form, rendered "devil" in the Authorized Version of the New Testament. Daemons are spoken of as spiritual beings (Mat 8:16; Mat 10:1; Mat 12:43) at enmity with God, and as having a certain power over man (Jam 2:19; Rev 16:14). They recognize our Lord as the Son of God (Mat 8:20; Luk 4:41). They belong to the number of those angels that "kept not their first estate, "unclean spirits," "fallen angels," the angels of the devil (Mat 25:41; Rev 12:7). They are the "principalities and powers" against which we must "wrestle" (Eph 6:12).
Daemoniac One "possessed with a devil." In the days of our Lord and his apostles evil spirits, "daemons," were mysteriously permitted by God to exercise an influence both over the souls and bodies of men, inflicting dumbness (Mat 9:32), blindness (Mat 12:22), epilepsy (Mar 9:17), insanity (Mat 8:28; Mar 5:1). Daemoniacs are frequently distinguished from those who are afflicted with ordinary bodily maladies (Mar 1:32; Mar 16:17, Mar 16:18; Luk 6:17, Luk 6:18). The daemons speak in their own persons (Mat 8:29; Mar 1:23, Mar 1:24; Mar 5:7). This influence is clearly distinguished from the ordinary power of corruption and of temptation over men. In the daemoniac his personality seems to be destroyed, and his actions, words, and even thoughts to be overborne by the evil spirit (Mark, l.c.; Act 19:15).